Christine Dhanagom

Pro-life youth arrested outside school and held in jail for 24 hours

Christine Dhanagom
Christine Dhanagom
Image
Image

JACKSON, March 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Two pro-life advocates who were arrested and held in jail for 24 hours while peacefully demonstrating outside a high school in Mississippi say they were told by police that they were detained simply because they were talking about abortion.

The two women, Kristina Garza and Brianna Baxter, were demonstrating peacefully Monday afternoon outside Murrah High School in Jackson, Mississippi. Members of the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust Campus Life Team, they were attempting to educate students about abortion using pro-life literature and graphic signs that depict aborted babies at various gestational stages, beginning at nine weeks.

The group, which is composed of seven members including Baxter and Garza, was confronted by campus police officers and told they couldn’t stand on the sidewalk outside the school.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

Garza told LifeSiteNews that the group was given inconsistent information by different officers. While some asserted that the sidewalk belonged to the school, others did not want to say that the pro-life activists were actually breaking the law.

“We could not get a straight story whatsoever,” she said. “It was obvious it was a public sidewalk. There was a fire hydrant. There were city sewers.”

Students were sequestered into the school and apparently prohibited from talking to the pro-lifers. As they walked by to board their bus, several students reportedly told the group that they could not speak with them because they were afraid of being suspended.

When Garza and her team members eventually left, they were told by police that if they came back, they would be arrested. “We asked him what law we would be breaking, and he said, ‘just don’t come back,’” she related.

An attorney contacted the school the following day to ask what law the pro-lifers would be breaking if they returned. School officials acknowledged that the sidewalk was public property, but reiterated, without citing any law, that the demonstrators could not return.

The group returned the following day to attempt to speak with the students who they couldn’t reach the day before, but found school officials and police officers waiting for them on the sidewalk.

According to Garza, five officers surrounded Baxter and attempted to pick her up and move her to the other side of the street. They then grabbed pro-life literature out of her hand, and cuffed her, reportedly without reading her rights or telling her why she was being arrested.

Garza was also handcuffed and taken to a police car. She says she repeatedly asked why she was being arrested, but received no answer.

The two women were taken to a holding cell at the Hinds County jail, where they waited about eight hours before being booked. The pair says that during that time they were not told why they were being held. They were eventually charged with interfering with a bus driver, trespassing, and causing a disturbance.

Garza says that while none of the charges make any sense, the first one is particularly puzzling.

“We had no interactions with any bus drivers,” she said. “We were on the sidewalks. We were not standing in front of buses. We were not blocking buses from passing. We were not standing in front of the entrance of buses. Students were walking on the buses freely.”

The real reason they were arrested, she says, was explained by police officers at the women’s jail they were transferred to later that night. The officers at the second jail had not been involved in the arrest, and were confused as to why the booking process had been delayed.

When Garza and Baxter explained that they were pro-life demonstrators, they were told, she says, that “you don’t talk about abortion in Mississippi,” and that this was the reason they had been arrested.

Garza says that this was the “overwhelming reaction” both from the officers at the jail and from the booking officers: they were arrested because they were talking about abortion.

But the pair says that the silver lining is that that their arrest galvanized the pro-life movement.

“People from all over the nation were calling to find out where we were and to try and get us out,” relates Garza. A legal team worked through the night to obtain a court date for the following day. After appearing before a judge yesterday afternoon, they were released and given a hearing date of April 6th.

Undaunted, the team proceeded to Alabama today, continuing to educate college and high school students about the harsh reality of abortion. 

High school students, says Garza, are being “marketed for abortions,” and so have the right to know what it means.

“Planned Parenthood has already been in their schools since they were in junior high. For them to see the images is absolutely necessary. They need to know what an abortion is. They’re hearing about it from one side, they need to hear the truth as well,” she said.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, denounced the arrests, saying: “Those who are persecuting these brave young pro-life activists are cowards, and a good example of what is wrong in our culture today.

“I consider the Survivors to be a movement within the pro-life movement, inspiring all of us to give ourselves more generously for the unborn. Sometimes that means arrest and prison, not for doing wrong, but for standing up against wrongdoing.”

FREE pro-life and pro-family news.

Stay up-to-date on the issues you care about the most. Subscribe today. 

Select Your Edition:


Share this article

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

, , ,

Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

Advertisement
Featured Image
Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook